The cost is now $12 per night at Four Mile Lake and it is almost empty if you go during the week. I stayed on Monday July 23 and there were only 4 occupied sites of the 14 to the left as you enter the campground. The campground host said this pretty standard for mid week
In 2013 the trailhead is fee area. It is $5, and there is a drop box in the parking area to pay. There is also a very good graphic at the trailhead to show the trail, as it is tricky to follow above the treeline.
Are you saying this is in addition to the NW Forest Pass? Thanks.
I was just there in mid-July and purchased both $5 passes because I was unsure, as well. Wish I had spent all that money on bug repellent instead!
I've only spent a few weeks total in Oregon and had never encountered many bugs until that morning's climb. From the second I left the car at the trailhead, I was met by some fierce mosquito swarms for the first 2-3 miles, until the trees really started to thin out. Fortunately I bumped into a hiker about halfway to treeline and he had plenty of bug spray. The mosquitos were unrelenting out there until that point.
The climb was pretty challenging with some tough weather that day at the the summit, but I really enjoyed the hell out of it. I would be very interested to try it again in winter as I didn't find the vertical exposure too threatening. Would have to check and see if it's avalanche prone though.
I found the downclimb and route finding less challenging than it was on the way up the mountain. Hikers should hug the ridgeline and keep that whale-shaped lake in sight as often as possible on the way up, too.
Can't wait to do it again.